HU athlete accused of breaking into house

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By David Giuliani

By David Giuliani

Las Vegas Optic

A former Highlands University football player was arrested over the weekend on a charge of breaking into the Raynolds Avenue house of Associate Superintendent Barbara Perea Casey

Fernando Vargas, 22, of Carson, Calif., was taken to the San Miguel County jail. He was arrested a day after his birthday.

According to a criminal complaint, Casey and her husband, Frank Casey, were in their house shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday when they heard scratching and banging noises at the front door. Frank Casey got his shotgun and pointed it at Vargas when he made his way into the house, the complaint states.

Vargas walked toward Frank Casey in an “aggressive manner,” and Casey then ordered the apparently unarmed suspect to sit on the couch, the complaint states.

The Caseys called the police, and officers arrived shortly after, police said. The officers found that Vargas was heavily intoxicated, the complaint states.

Vargas told officers that he thought he had been entering into a “football friend’s” house, the complaint states. He told police that he was a member of the Highlands football team.

A magistrate judge set Vargas’ bail at $5,000.

Sean Weaver, a Highlands spokesman, said last season was Vargas’ last with the school’s team. He said that would have been the case even if Vargas was eligible to play another year.

“If you’re arrested, you’re off the team. That’s something we’re taking pretty seriously,” Weaver said.

Casey said in a statement that police arrived within minutes of their call.

“I was amazed at their quick response,” she stated.

She said she and her husband were too shaken to get the names of the officers.

“It is good to know that we have city police officers who really do protect and serve,” she stated.

Deputy Police Chief Christian Montao said it’s rare that someone will break into an occupied house. He said most suspects see less risk into burglarizing when no one is home.